C. elegans at RARAF
C. elegans nematode is a well-established research tool
suitable for radiobiological studies. With a transparent body
that can be easily observed under a microscope, it has a relative
small diameter (50 µm) and can be completely traversed by the
charged particles generated at the Columbia microbeam whose maximum
beam penetration is 450 µm. The picture above illustrates a young
C. elegans images on our end station using combined illumination
for oblique and RFP excitation in the neurons.
C. elegans Irradiation Sample Experiment
An intital irradiation experiment irraiating the head of
a worm results in a heat shock response throughout the whole worm
24 hours after irradiation. This experiment is a basic experiment
looking for whole body response to irradiation. We are developing
techniques to target individual cells in the worm and/or organ systems
with integrated observation for acute radiation responses.
C. elegans Immobilization for High-Throughput Irradiation
We are developing microfluidic worm clamps to hold worms in a
specific orientation to the microbeam for high throughput irradiation.
A single channel system is diagramed on the left above. On the
right, is a single worm clamped over the microbeam in the 4th
channel on a multi-clamp chip. Many clamp channels can be put
in parallel on a single microfluidic chip allowing worms to be
irradiated in an automated, rapid manner.
*Bertucci, A., Pocock, R.D., Randers-Pehrson, G. and Brenner, D.J. Microbeam irradiation of the C. elegans nematode. J Radiat Res (Tokyo) 50 Suppl A: A49-54, (2009). PMCID: PMC2950932. [abstract] [PDF]